Keep, Exchange or Regift?

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Christmas is over.

Everything you got was amazing…just what you wanted…stunningly stylish…perfectly perfect.



Oh, man.  That’s a toughie.

So what do you do?

Do you keep it because of the love and thought that went into the gift-giving?

Do you exchange it for store-credit, cash or something else?

Do you regift that badboy?

Some of y’all winced on that last one, but I’ll confess I’ve done all three based on these guidelines:


If the giver will ask about the gift they gave me, even though it wasn’t a great fit for me (I’m talking figuratively.  I’ll always say something if the literal fit is off.), I will keep the gift and revel in the fact that they loved me enough to go out of their way to find something thoughtful.  Period.


I have no problem exchanging a gift if #1) the giver has included the gift receipt or if #2) if they have expressed that they have no problem with me finding something I’d rather have or that is more to my tastes.

I have parted with the guidelines if neither of these things have transpired, but I know for a fact that the giver wouldn’t get their feelings hurt.


Let me start by saying that I know of gifts that I have given to others that were then regifted.  The first time it happened, I had a WTH?! moment of indignation.  HOW DARE THEY!  After all, I had spent my time and money trying to find something I thought they would love, only to have obviously missed the mark.

After that first stinging slap, I asked myself why I felt ownership of something I had freely given.  Since then, I’ve been completely fine with a regift.

That said, I have also regifted.  I don’t do it often; I don’t like to do it.  When someone gives me something, I like to imagine the thought they invested.  That alone is a wonderful gift, because I’m at the age where I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have people in their lives that care enough to invest both their time and treasure, so why sully it with a regift?


Sometimes the gift is something you would never use and would be regulated to a closet until one day, way off in the future, you’d discard it.  I would never want a gift I’ve given to meet that fate because someone was trying to be respectful.

If it’s the closet or a regift, I try to find someone who would love and cherish the gift…but…only if the giver would remain oblivious to the fact.  That means, if you’re going to regift, make sure the person who receives it does not run in the same circles as the original giver.

Think Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.


What happens if the original giver finds out?  You can try explaining the above without insisting that they understand, because the first time one finds out is the hardest, my babies.   Be gentle.  Beg for mercy.  Remember, a warm plate of brownies fixes almost anything.

So tell us: keep, exchange or regift?

What say you?

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  1. I tend to keep because I feel guilt at getting rid of something and worry that I will hurt the gift givers feelings. However, I am now at the point where I have tons of stuff I am simply storing that I never used and never liked and I am purging all of it. Never again!

  2. I tend to not keep things here in my home that do not serve any purpose, sentimental or otherwise. I figure that this space is our own and I don’t see why we have to store things we will never use and enjoy – surely the gift giver couldn’t have wanted that! If they included a receipt, that to me is an open invite for exchange. If it’s handmade and I can’t use it, I can pass it on eventually. Otherwise, it can get re-gifted or donated. It’s all mostly just “stuff”. And here lately, we have family and friends who are really into gift cards anyway because they live far away and find them easier to send. Score on those!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      “Stuff.” Exactly. There is sentiment for some gifts, to be sure, but there are gifts that fall in the “stuff” category. Stuff others would LOVE. I say find a home for the stuff and be happy you made a love connection. Win Win!

  3. If there’s a gift receipt and I know I will never use it, I return it for sure. If it’s something that I know the person put a LOT of thought in to I will usually keep it and try to use it…

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      I’ve actually kept stuff that was given with a receipt, but thought it was sweet that the giver gave an option.

  4. I’ve done all three, gasp! Hey I figure if I’m regifting it I’m still technically using it.

  5. What is the difference in re-gifting, exchanging and selling in a garage sale? Have you had someone walk into your garage sale and notice you are selling something they gave you? In all cases, you are saying that the item either didn’t fit originally or doesn’t anymore. Is there a period of time after which selling in a garage sale becomes acceptable as though the object has outlived it’s useful life with the original recipient? We are having a delayed white elephant gift exchange in a few weeks. I received a gift at Christmas that is on the list to find a new home.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Kent! Great questions. I’ve never had anyone find something they gave me in a garage sale…THANK GOODNESS! Then again, I’ve had very few garage sales. Wait. Have you?

      You were given something at Christmas you’re using as a white elephant? LOL! Make sure the giver isn’t there!

  6. My tip would be that if you ARE going to regift, be sure that there is not a gift enclosure card hiding in the box. I once got a baby gift that clearly was a regift because I found the original “To/From” card under the tissue in the bottom of the box. The person who gave me the gift is still a dear friend. She had a baby one day after mine so I knew the new baby busy-ness she was experiencing. I never, ever mentioned it to her.

  7. I’ve done all three, (seldomly regifting… however I’m fine with it IF the gift fits the person and their lifestyle). My mom always told me that you don’t give a gift expecting the person keeps it until they die (unless it’s obviously some type of family keepsake). I love this advice because it has helped me get over people regifting my gifts and she is right. I don’t expect them to keep my stuff forever. Our house is too small to keep things we don’t need or use so it leaves the house.

    Visiting from a glimpse inside blog party 🙂

  8. Mrs. Tucker says

    Your mother is wise.

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